A Ranking Of This Year’s ‘MAFS’ Grooms From “OK Bloke” To “Toxic, Gaslighting POS”
This year’s Married at First Sight has been an absolute rollercoaster journey and while it doesn’t exactly have us believing in the power of true love, it has highlighted some distasteful behaviour that no one should put up with.
It’s not new for MAFS to platform toxic men as a way to keep the show “controversial”. Since the show pivoted from being an experiment of whether two strangers could make a marriage work to being the reality juggernaut we see today with numerous couples, trashy dinner parties, retreats, and commit ceremonies, the casting of the show has also changed tack.
While a few years ago in 2018, Dean Wells was the most hated man in Australia (and in fact, the ads for Married at First Sight that year played up his misogyny as a way to hook people in) each year following, Married at First Sight has continued to air toxic behaviour, mainly from men towards their wives, but also to each other.
Who could forget Sam Ball‘s behaviour towards Lizzie and Ines? Or Mike blatantly gaslighting his wife Heidi, only for John Aiken to side with him during the commitment ceremony? Let’s also not forget the absolute chaotic clusterfuck that was Michael Goonan and Hayley Vernon on the 2020 season of Married at First Sight — the season we try to pretend never happened. Oh yeah, that was also the season Cowboy Dave decided to use Hayley’s toothbrush to scrub the toilet. Remember that?
So men behaving badly on this show isn’t news to us, but it sure does get tiring seeing the same emotionally manipulative and gaslighting behaviour year and year again – and this year Bryce Ruthven will go down in history for perhaps being one of the worst grooms we’ve ever seen on this show. And given everything we just listed above, that’s saying something.
So, we’ve decided to rank the 2021 MAFS grooms based on who seems like an OK bloke down to who the biggest red flag is*.
*Spoiler, it’s all of them! Just kidding… unless?
OK “well, there’s the low bar I guess” tier:
Johnny seems sweet and let’s face it: he’s the best of the lot. He does seem to always BE there when people are arguing, and is partial to playing a little devil’s advocate before then trying to remain friends with both sides. It’s not a bad trait, but he reminds me of a puppy dog who would follow you around the house and it starts off cute, but then it gets annoying. Like he’s always just THERE flipping over on his back so you can scratch his stomach again, and you’re like “Johnny, please, I am on a work call, put a shirt on, and go do something with your day.”
Liam hates Bryce and for that reason…we stan Liam! I’m not sold on his “I like natural girls” BS as a way to subtly put his partner down for being too glamorous for him (that’s what we call the fragile male ego talking). It’s just time all men learned the natural look is still achieved through makeup. Sorry, do you want to see my brows not tinted and wake up to me with my night retainer in? I didn’t think so.
Rusty was the undercover gem we never knew we had but he probably was on the show for the right amount of time. While he seems like a genuinely good bloke, his dinner party banter about steak left a lot to be desired. But the guy obviously has a sense of humour, just look at this video of him impersonating Dan Andrews.
Shitty “the bar is on the ground” tier:
If you believe the rumours outside the show, Jake is no prince, but we can only go off what we’ve seen on the show. For the most part, Jake is down to earth and makes a lot of sense. But while people may mock Rebecca for saying she felt Jake was treating her like a piece of meat, you do have to question Jake’s intentions about how often he misreads the situation. There was the awkward attempt at a kiss on their honeymoon and in recent episodes, he alluded to the fact that he hoped by standing up for Rebecca it would progress their relationship to a new level of intimacy. Not necessarily how it works, doll.
He may have made us laugh (and gag) with his awkward bath banter, but there’s only so long that a goofy facade can mask who you truly are. And Patrick is a messy little biatch! He was the one behind the letter that tore apart Booka and Brett’s relationship, he’s all across the drama at dinner parties, and his constantly weird but horny phrases when praising Belinda are uncomfortable at best. Also, who wants their partner to reveal to a whole group of people that they gave you a handjob? What are we in, Year 9?
Yikes. The lack of accountability for the infamous letter was a huge red flag from Bretty boi. Now, while it’s all fair and good that he and Booka may have been going through some problems that led him to feeling underappreciated, the first thing he did when he read Patrick’s letter out to Booka should’ve been to see if she was OK first, then talk through it. Instead he fumbled around with saying Patrick had a point, ignored how hurt Booka was, and at the dinner party repeated that he was “exhausted” over and over again about the mess that was… entirely of his own doing? Booka even ended up apologising to HIM, before he apologised to her.
Not only that, but he’s gone on time and time again about how Booka is too intense and needs to have some fun, which are subtle insults that still have the potential to make your partner feel like shit. Then on top of all that, he decided to write “stay” for another week when Booka wanted to leave and the good traits he listed off about Booka were shallow at best: He likes when she brings him coffee. He likes when she wants to relax and have fun. And he likes that he’s attracted to her.
That says it all really.
Remember Sam? He was the first one to antagonise Bryce, so it nearly made us like him for a hot minute there. But then we remembered his deranged conversation with Coco about how he needs a woman with big boobs, and how he constantly put down her personality, probably because he’s lacking one himself.
Cameron is that kind of guy that would be like, “I never cheated on you,” but was sliding into the DMs of every girl from his gym behind your back, and then when caught out, he would be like, “but I never DID anything” – as though that makes it all OK. Making Samantha stay another week just so he could pursue his connection with Coco was a new level of low. And rumour has it, he and Coco did not work in the outside world, so we cannot wait for Coco to bring that tea in at the reunion.
Godawful “block and delete” tier:
Where the hell do I start with Jason? His ultra passive-aggressive fight style is absolutely awful to watch. Watching him standing over Alana yelling at her, threatening to call things off, yelling at her to write “leave” next time, and acting like an adult-sized toddler throwing an ugly tantrum whenever he’s confronted with something he should take responsibility for is maddening. But then he gets horny again and “forgives” Alana, even if something was his fault in the first place. Oh yeah, and he’s threatened by her vibrator.
Jason can’t deal with conflict, but he also can’t take any responsibility for his part in it. How many times have we heard him sarcastically say “Good one, Alana” or “Well done, Alana” when an uncomfortable situation is brought up that he doesn’t want to talk about? Grow up, Jason! You applied to be on a national TV show, unfortunately, you’re going to have to talk about it!
James was someone who came on the show not wanting to be judged by his wealth and it turns out he had nothing to worry about. Instead, we judged him on what an absolute douchebag he is. We suffered through weeks of his toxic, gaslighting behaviour towards Jo which included him disappearing, not coming home one night, then lying about it.
Then there was his awful joke about falling in love with expert Alessandra, and the fact he called Belinda frigid and then couldn’t even cop to the fact he did say that. Thankfully, James was released back to his one true love, his expensive cars, and hopefully we’ll never have to see him again.
Ooooh boy, how much time do you have? Because I could write a bloody essay on why Bryce is the biggest walking red flag to ever come across our TV screens.
Bryce is manipulative. aggressive, a bully, downright rude, snide, and has an ego larger than Australia itself. He is awful to his wife Melissa, insulted her on numerous occasions, and has increasingly isolated her from the rest of the group. He’s insulted various other members of the group, went on an incomprehensible rant about why he didn’t like Sam (“ego vs. ego”), and at the couples retreat, he even went as far as to assault Bec by trying to kiss her on the cheek without her consent.
If you need further proof, try reading this article of all the stupid shit Bryce said during one MAFS dinner party. He never should have been allowed on our screens and I hope to God that reality shows stop casting such egotistical, dangerously toxic men in the future.
We didn’t include Chris Jensen in this ranking due to the controversy of his behaviour off-screen which conflicted with the good edit he got on the show.